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I am looking for a fun educational book about English language with a wide spectrum of knowledge and facts. I did some research but there are too many books and too many directions, I cannot read them all. I hope there might be some folks on this forum who already read some gems, or heard of some bestsellers. I am ESL person, but you can ignore that. Many native speakers as I understand could benefit from a great book telling them about the language they speak. I expect something that is humorous, captivating, instructive, knowledgable, useful, educational, encompassing things from grammar to style, from punctuation to perhaps some history, from fine details to bird-eye-views - just a word cloud of descriptive things. I bet such book would be a bestseller, because it would be just popular among many types of readers. A cool book about some deeper sense of English language for those who wish to learn and have different backgrounds. A book to satisfy many tastes and inspire many minds. I came by an example:

. . . but honestly - this might be too hard for some ESL folks - I mean his extremely witty references that only seasoned native speaker can get. Any other ideas of perhaps some classics for broader audience?

Thank you!

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    Your question belongs on the Meta part of this site. For example, here you will find a comprehensive list of resources: english.stackexchange.com/questions/1482/… . My recommendation is David Crystal's The English Language. It is not necessarily humurous, but it has all the other qualities you are asking for: goodreads.com/book/show/… – Shoe Nov 20 at 5:33
  • @Shoe thank you ! you said the book's name is "The English Language" but then pointed to "The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language" -- did you mean this is the same thing? – iLie Nov 20 at 5:52
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    Yes, sorry for the unnecessary confusion! – Shoe Nov 20 at 6:54
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    I quite like 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss' for a humourous (and serious) look at punctuation. – Smock Nov 20 at 13:46
  • You say (1) "I am ESL person, but you can ignore that" and (2) "I came by an example: . . . but honestly - this might be too hard for some ESL folks." So, which is it? Is ESL a factor or not? – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Nov 20 at 15:47
  • @Smock Lynne is quite prescriptive - it's a good read though! – marcellothearcane Nov 20 at 22:35
  • Let me second @Shoe's recommendation. First, anything by David Crystal is good stuff, and there's quite a lot of it, all about language in some way. Second, his encyclopedias for Cambridge University Press are especially good. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language should be in every Anglophone classroom, worldwide. – John Lawler Nov 23 at 22:07
  • Oh, and Truss is totally innocent of any knowledge about punctuation. She goes in the same bin as Strunk and White. – John Lawler Nov 23 at 22:11

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